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London's most prestigious auction houses will hold a series of Russian
London's most prestigious auction houses will hold a series of Russian art sales on November 24-27.

Russian Art Week will feature paintings, jewelry, weapons, porcelain, Faberge items, Orthodox icons, books and manuscripts. A total of 13 auctions are expected to be held during the four-day event.

MacDougall Auctions is to present a collection of more than 550 lots. The top lot will be a unique collection of 122 erotic drawings for Le Livre de la Marquise by Konstantin Somov, estimated at $2.2 million-$4.4 million.

Christie's will present a series of exhibitions and auctions dedicated to Russian art, offering Russian paintings, Imperial-era furniture and a fine selection of Russian Silver.

One of the highlights of the auction will be Natalia Goncharova's modernist painting, Still Life with Watermelons, which has not been on the market for 45 years and is expected to fetch $2.5 million-$3.3 million.

Another top item will be a Russian silver soup tureen "in the form of a fourteen gun warship from the Empress Catherine the Great's Black Sea Fleet Service", valued at $640,000 - $960,000.

The sale will also include the collection the original gold-mounted Order of St. George, 4th Class and St. George swords, including one decorated with diamonds, belonging to Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolayevich the Younger (1856-1929), first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II.

Sotheby's will offer 100 lots, including works by Aivazovsky, Makovsky, Konchalovsky, and Larionov. The auction house will also hold a sale of Faberge items, silver and porcelain. Its total estimate for the week is 30 million pounds ($44.5 million).

Russian Art Week will include several post-war and contemporary artists. For the first time, works by Oleg Tselkov, Ernst Neizvestny, Evgeny Rukhin and Vladimir Weisberg will go under the hammer.

Art dealers and auction houses will be watching the event carefully as they attempt to judge the effect the current financial crisis has had on the art world.


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